The Modern Way of Extracting Olive Oil

Olive oil extraction, a process deeply rooted in tradition, is evolving with technological advancements. Decanter centrifuges are playing a crucial role in streamlining this process, improving efficiency, and maintaining product quality.

Olive oil production typically begins with the harvesting of olives from olive trees. This is usually done manually or with the assistance of mechanical harvesters, depending on the size and terrain of the orchard. After harvesting, the olives are cleaned to remove any dirt, leaves, or other debris. This can be done using various methods such as washing or air-blowing.

The cleaned olives are transported to a crusher by screw conveyor. The crusher can be installed as a separate unit with a screw conveyor or a screw pump to dispense the paste into the malaxer, or together with the screw conveyor on the malaxer.

The olive paste is then mixed or malaxed to facilitate the extraction of oil. This step helps to break down the oil-containing cells in the olive paste and allows the oil droplets to coalesce. Typically for the extraction of extra virgin olive oil, the paste temperature is usually controlled at around 25 - 30°C.

After malaxation, the olive paste undergoes a separation process to extract the oil from the solids and liquids. Traditionally, olive oil extraction involved manual labor and time-consuming processes. However, with the introduction of decanter centrifuges, efficiency has significantly improved. These machines use centrifugal force to swiftly separate oil from the olive paste, reducing processing time and increasing output.

Decanter centrifuges not only enhance efficiency but also preserve the quality of the final product. By minimizing exposure to heat and oxidation, they retain the natural flavors, aromas, and nutrients of the olive oil. This ensures a consistent and high-quality product that meets consumer expectations.

In addition to efficiency and quality, decanter centrifuges also contribute to sustainability efforts. They optimize resource utilization and minimize waste generation, reducing energy consumption and water usage. By repurposing by-products such as pomace and wastewater, they foster a more sustainable production process.

After separation by the decanter centrifuge, the olive oil still contains a certain amount of water and solids. Therefore a disk centrifuge will be used after the decanter centrifuge for final olive purification to remove the residual water and solids.

Finally, the clarified olive oil is stored in appropriate containers, such as stainless steel tanks or dark glass bottles, to preserve its quality until it is ready for consumption or further processing.